If you are thinking of taking advantage of Circuit City's closing of 155 retail store locations
to score a sweet deal on a new HDTV, the folks over at HD Guru
warn that not only are deals not to be had, but that you might actually wind up paying more for it and potentially taking home a lemon. HD Guru visited a Circuit City in Massapequa, New York that is closing, to investigate what deals were to be had. What they found was alarming.
At this particular Circuit City location, HDTVs were being sold at ten percent off "pre-closeout
" prices. The only problem is that the pre-closeout prices were actually jacked-up from what Circuit City sell the same HDTV models for on CircuitCity.com. The end result is that the close-out prices with ten percent off are actually higher than what you actually would have paid for the HDTVs at Circuit City before the close-out sale. While it is standard practice for some merchants to charge different prices online than they do in their retail locations, Circuit City has built entire ad campaign around the fact that they change one price--be it online or at retail. (The Circuit City - One Price Promise TV commercial
was still running on network TV as recently as last night.) HD Guru found that HDTV prices were generally about $60 to $100 more at the Massapequa store than on CircuitCity.com. At least one HD Guru reader posted a response, saying that he found his local Circuit City was charging about $200 to $300 more than the site. It is possible that as time gets closer to the final days when the Circuit City locations shutter their doors forever, deeper discounts might kick in--finally providing some real deals on what ever inventory is left.
Display and "open-box
" products carry the same ten percent discount as new, unopened merchandise. Making matters worse, all products are sold "as-is
" with no returns--new, display, and open-box products alike. Any defective products would need to be covered by the manufacturers' warranty. HD Guru reports that all the products in the Massapequa store are marked down:"Currently, sealed HDTVs are 10% off the Circuit Cityís tag price. Video game consoles are at 5% off, DVDs and Blu-ray discs are tagged at 20% off, video/audio cables were at 15% off, DVD/Blu-ray players 10% off and TV stands were at 15% off."
At this point in time, the shady Circuit City practices have only been confirmed at the Massapequa location. We fully expect similar reports to start coming in from the rest of closing Circuit City locations. Caveat emptor